Tuesday, 1 December 2015

There's a ghost in the rubbish bin

The wisdom of toddlers


“Mama, there’s a ghost in the rubbish bin,” my son informs. Hmm, I was wondering what that smell was... Now that we are perilously close to Christmas I have slipped into the mode of fighting fires. That bin is just another pungent reminder that jobs on the home-front are becoming neglected.
I got on the back foot when we went away last weekend. Packing is nothing short of a military operation when it comes to a young family, and that took the best part of a day for a start. The rule is that the smaller the child, the more accoutrements they require. By the time we’d packed two small children and one dog, the Toyota workhorse, which is not normally one to complain, was heaving under the pressure.

The puking poltergeist


We were just starting to relax and enjoy the road when Miss Small pukes. That is par for the course, but predictably, Mr Slightly-bigger then decides that he needs to go to the loo - urgently. Ah, accidents are like buses aren’t they? Anyway, this is the glamorous life I lead, and that old acquaintance Murphy’s Law is never far away. On the way home, in almost exactly the same place as the previous incident, Mr Slightly-bigger pukes as well; fantastic. It seems there is a puking poltergeist in play. At least I know where he lives.
So after all of that; the rich and heady aroma of our lives has not improved. Neither has the backlog of housework. I’m fondly remembering the enthusiastic chat I had on the weekend about how thrilling it was to be getting back into writing. That was the plan today, but instead I’m dipping into the stores of bicarbonate of soda - the Febreze of yesteryear.

When good ideas go bad


The other thing calling out for some good old fashioned cleansing is an idea I was working on for a children’s story. I was pushing the boat out, the concept could be seen as a little controversial and possibly a touch confronting. However, I was game to give it a shot, break new ground, fill a gap in the market and all of that bold/naive carry on. But as it turns out, it doesn’t matter how much bicarbonate of soda I work into the thing, it still kind of stinks.
It’s best to take the philosophical approach at this point and ignore that alluring crisis of confidence which beckons. Or at least, I’m going to say that and repeat it until it becomes a reality. Not all ideas can be shaped and polished into beautiful things, some, even after applying all of the techniques if your toolbox, remain fatally flawed. So I’m parting company with the characters and the little world I created for them - into the bin with you!  There is a ghost in the rubbish bin indeed...